HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >

Discussion

Anxiously Awaiting Chestnuts

I know that I am being premature--but if anyone sees chestnuts in any of the local stores, please inform. I love them and await each year to get my fill. I believe that they generally don't show up until about the second week of November, but I am being hopeful that they will be available a bit sooner. Thanks, FoiGras

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Are you anywhere near Howard County? John Dove had chestnuts the week before last at the Weds farmer's marked at the Miller Branch Library. You might try to contact him - Love Dove Farm

    1 Reply
    1. re: ivysmom

      I'm s excited--don't live too far from Howard County--but have never been to the Farmer's Market. But, I can check out the Love Dove Farm--never heard of that either--but--champing at the bit. Hubby and I could take a leisurely drive from Balto City/Balto County line 9where we live--not far from Howard Count--this time of year is definitely conducive to embracing the foilage on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon drive then enjoying a nice dinner at Kings Contrivance or the elkridge Furnance Inn--thanks for your recommendation. FoiGras

    2. Mt Vernon Farmers Market had them 2 weeks ago, I didn't see them at Dupont but that doesn't mean they weren't there - You'll probably have to poke around...

      4 Replies
      1. re: tommyskitchen

        Hi tommyskitchen--are you saying Mt. Vernon, VA? I don't believe you meant Mt. Vernon area in downtown Baltimore. As I previously responded to ivysmom--the drive would be worthwihile. This time of year makes it favorable to take leisurely drives to markets and enjoy the foliage. Thanks for your input. FoiGras

        1. re: FoiGras

          It's VA - on the way to Mt Vernon, at the Library on Sherwood Hall and Parkers Lane, between Fort Hunt and Route 1 - Wednesday Mornings.

          1. re: tommyskitchen

            Thanks tommy--as much as I love chestnuts, guess I'll have to cool my tastebuds and wait until they are available a bit closer to home. But, in the future--your suggestion sounds really enticing for a weekend trip for us. Oops--Wednesday mornings aren't weekends. Am still interested in the market that is available in the VA area. FoiGras

            1. re: FoiGras

              Spotted chestnuts today at the Del Ray Farmers Market in Alexandria. My favorite apple vendor had bunches.

      2. Love Dove Farm didn't have chestnuts at the market today, they had husked black walnuts. But if you want something not too far from you, I'd call or email John. Maybe he still has chestnuts but not enough to bring to a market.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ivysmom

          ivysmom--I'll take your suggestion to e-mail John. Ooh those black walnuts sound fabulous. My grandmother and Mom used to use those delicacies in a black walnut cake with a buttercream frosting to die for. I also recall that those black walnuts were also included in some of the Christmas cookies--perhaps even GrandMom's fruitcake> YES--I LOVE FRUITCAKE. Why is it such a hated cake? The candied fruit is moist as is the cake and the density of wonderful--and, yes, I love the fact that My Granny baked those cakes in early November (right before her fabulous sour beef and dumplings dinner for all of the family)--then wrapped the cakes in soaked rum or some liquor. Phew. I miss those days of culinary decadence. Oh, and not to forget, my Mom's bourbon balls. We kids used to scarf them up--saying "we're drunk." Hee Hee. (as strong as Mom made them, we probably could have gotten a good buzz). FoiGras

        2. I have a Chestnut Tree(Chinese Chestnut) in my yard and they are falling and the squirells are having a field day!!!
          But there is always those ones from Italy!!!

          http://www.aafinefoods.com/onlinestor...

          6 Replies
          1. re: Hue

            That's funny Hue. I guess my ignorance will show here, but I hadn't realized that there were domestic chestnuts as I had read somewhere, some time ago, that there was a plight that killed this country's chestnut trees.

            Guess I'll have to plant a tree so that I have my own supply. But, that could take years, so I'll just have to get them when available at the local markets. FoiGras

            1. re: FoiGras

              Foi ...These nuts (the Chinese tree) are not quite the same animal as you are looking for and you are correct the American Chestnut trees were wiped out by a blight.. Over 4 billion chestnut trees were wiped out. There is however a geneticist, Paul Sisco,in North Carolina who believes he has a hybrid that can resist the blight.

              1. re: Hue

                See Hue--I did reveal my ignorance. At least I wasn't totally off the mark with regards to the blight killing off domestic chestnut trees. At least the squirrels are happy and I'll just have to wait until those Italian chestnuts hit the markets before I can have a month or so of my own chestnut field days.

                I wonder why it has taken so long for a geneticist to reintroduce the trees domestically. Am also curious as to whether the chestnut trees are exclusive to Italy. Guess I'll have to do some Google research. Thanks for your input. FoiGras

                1. re: FoiGras

                  Foi...These chestnuts come in a spiked cacoon, somewhat like a walnut,which hase a smooth outer covering...Those "tree rats" are some tough creatures to get those chestnuts out

                   
                   
                  1. re: Hue

                    Hue--OMG--amazing! Wow--thank you for the photos and education.
                    I laugh that you refer to squirres and "tree rats." They may look cute but are very destructive and running rampant in our neighborhood even without the special chestnut type tree that you have. They are definitely rodents.

                    that reminds me of the time that I bought macadamia nuts in their shells. I absolutely could not crack them open with a regular nutcracker and had to resort to using a vice (I think that is the "tool" I used). In addition, they weren't very tasty without the roasting and salt, unlike other nuts in their shell. I love pecans and walnuts in the shell, sitting by candlelight, soft music and some good sherry--cracking open the nuts and enjoying good company/conversation.

                    Just came home from shopping at the local Giant--no chestnuts as yet. No surprise there. But, I did buy the pecans and walnuts in their shells--now I have to figure out where I stored away the nutcracker. FoiGras

                2. re: Hue

                  Hue, you probably already have seen this website for the American Chestnut Foundation, but it is kind of cool to see that they have had what is apparently a true American Chestnut strain growing that is blight resistant for 7 years now. Unfortunately, I doubt I will live to see one of the beauties in their full glory. They grow to be around 45 meters/150 feet tall with the trunk being as much as 10 feet in DIAMETER! European Sweet Chestnuts are great trees and their nuts are a huge hit in the UK when the temps drop, but they are "only" up to 35 meters tall. There used to be trains full of just chestnuts coming from the Shenandoah to Richmond, DC and Baltimore according to the papers I have read. I imagine it was the case all over the eastern US.

                  http://www.acf.org/mission_history.php

            2. Balduccis in Old Town has them today, $7.99 a pound I think

              1 Reply
              1. re: Milocat1

                I remember when they were $1.99 a pound!!! Guess I'm giving away my age. FoiGras

              2. Was at BAUGHER'S MArket in Westminster this AM (Wednesday) and they had "locaaly grown" chestnuts for sale at 399 lb...they looked smallish ...

                1 Reply
                1. re: Hue

                  Hue--are you now again "pulling my leg?" I thought this discussion included the fact that there aren't any "locally grown:" or domestic chestnuts. I hope you are just trying to see how far I will go to get those early morsels. Guess I've kind of resorted to cooling my tastebuds and waiting for the imports. Usually Wegman's has the earliest supply. In my neck of the woods the Giant is slow to catch up--but then, that store seems to frustrate me continously based on other issues. Won't take the time to bother explaining or boring the Chowhounds. FoiGras p.s. thanks Hue for "looking out" for me and my chestnut "addiction. FG

                2. Happy Happy--got my first pound and 3/4 of chestnuts at Wegman's in Hunt Valley on Saturday. I knew I could count on them to be the first in the area to have a supply. Actually, I scooped up all of the remaining nuts--so there are other Chowhounds loving the "nuts." I got the rest that were out in the bin.

                  Another point herein---I was "warned" by family/friends not to attempt shopping yesterday based on the fact that everyone would be out shopping to stock up on acount of the impending "Sandy" storm. I heeded their advice--somewhat--but ventured out (35 minute drive--always worthwhile) to the Hunt Valley store. Yes--it was very crowded. My point now, Wegman's management is truly on the ball. Every checkout lane was open--there were staff to help in every section of the store--friendly, happy, people. It felt festive shopping. Delightful. OUr checkout person was an adorably friendly gal. when I told her it was my hubby's birthday she gave him a BIG HUG. How nice is that?
                  So, got my chestnuts and some other delectables and Hubby got a hug sweet gal--other then me. lol.
                  Okay--gotta get ready for the impending "Sandy" storm. What are all of you doing to prepare for this, probably, major inconvenience.

                  I've cooked some chicken, hard boiled eggs and other items so that I can make chicken/egg salads, etc. if we don't have power. Hope we all get through this ordeal without major issues. FoiGras